JIS News

The Ministry of Transport, through the National Works Agency (NWA), will as a matter of urgency, repair breaches in severely compromised sections of the Corporate Area drainage system.
This assurance was given by Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, during a tour of Corporate Area drains on (Oct. 19). Prime Minister Golding, along with a team including Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie and executives from the National Works agency. The Prime Minister’s tour took in drainage and gullies in the Tinson Pen area, New Haven, Duhaney Park, Roehamption Drive and White Hall, Waterworks and Mannings Hill Road up to Smokey Vale.
The Prime Minister said the Sandy Gully drainage network that was laid down for the area more than 50 years ago had served its purpose well, but has not been diligently maintained.
“And therefore, there has been structural failure. Once that happens, it undermines everything around the channel itself, even private dwellings that are built beyond the boundary. One of the things we have to do as a matter of urgency is to try and repair those breaches,” he said.
Mr. Golding said that with the limited resources that are available, the Transport and Works Ministry would seek to address this situation swiftly.
This is important not only to protect the rest of the channel, but also to protect the private property that is threatened,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the NWA has been asked to do a comprehensive analysis of the entire drainage network to determine what needs to be done over time in terms of rehabilitative maintenance, and also to put in place a routine maintenance regime.
‘Routine maintenance is preventative work. If we maintain it on a routine basis, then we minimize the chances of the structural failure,” Mr. Golding said.
“We have asked the NWA to look at the entire corporate area drainage system, because since Sandy Gully was built, there have been many developments, and many changes in the natural flow of water. When housing schemes are built (for example), they displace that water that would have used the land as the natural run off, and put that water somewhere else that may not have the capacity to handle it,” he elaborated.
The Prime Minister said the undertaking would be expensive, and the government would therefore seek multi-lateral funding.
“The multilateral lending agencies have given some priority to infrastructural work. We are trying to assemble a priority list of projects.what we are trying to do is build a public sector investment programme. It is going to be important for us to develop a comprehensive inherently consistent public sector investment programme, so that every department of government can know not only what its own programme obligations are, but also what the deliverables are that they are going to be required to work on,” he stated.
He noted also that the road network has been severely affected by the recent rains. Some funds have been released and a programme of repairs is being coordinated by the Transport and Works Ministry.
“Some funds are to be released in the second half of this month and we are hoping to be able to provide additional funding in November, to try to mobilize a wide programme to deal with potholes, (and) some breakaways, and to try and get the road network back in shape,” he said.
Mr. Golding noted however, that not all the repair work would be completed between now and the end of the fiscal year, but the government would try to address the most urgent situations during the remainder of the calendar year.

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